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Summer Job Hunting Tips

June 8th, 2012

There’s no specific legal season set aside for job hunting. Unfortunately, the job hunt happens when it happens, and when we’re out of work, most of us can’t just mark our calendars and wait for a more promising season to start the job search process. 

In the wintertime, we need to work the job search in around holiday preparation, cut back on seasonal indulgences for financial reasons, and choose a pair of slush boots and a thick wool scarf that complement our interview attire. In the fall, the job search may turn in our favor, since we’re often able to command the full attention of hiring managers when their minds are focused on work and not distracted by outside events. The spring is a time for growth, risk, change, and excitement, and this fever can give a much needed boost to our energy levels and our willingness to head into the unknown.

But what about the summer? Are there any special considerations we should take into account as we face the job search process in June and July?

Summer Job Hunting

1. Recognize that summertime work schedules involve large gaps. If you send an application and don’t hear back for a week, that’s normal. During the summer that period extends to about two weeks. After two weeks, it’s time to follow up.

2. As you choose your interview attire, a black wool suit might seem a bit much when the temperature climbs past ninety degrees. And it is. Tone it down a bit by reaching for grey if you can. For summertime interviews, women can easily skip the suit and wear blouses, skirts and light slacks as long as they suit the culture of the workplace. 

3. On the day of your interview, think ahead. Consider the weather and what it might do to your hair and clothing. Wear deodorant, and if you arrive a bit early (which you should), find an air conditioned lobby or coffee shop where you can wait comfortably.

4. Be ready to alter your plans on short notice. If you intended to head for the beach this weekend and not come back till Tuesday, be prepared to cut the trip short and head home for a Monday job interview if you’re called in. Don’t agonize. Just pack your bags.

5. If you have plans that can’t be cancelled, like flights or trips out of the country, explain this to your interviewer as clearly, simply, and politely as you can. Don’t make excuses or apologize too much. When and if you’re offered an alternative date, be as flexible as possible. (If you can avoid it, it’s best not to make these kinds of plans while you’re job hunting.)

For more help with the job search process in Connecticut during any season, contact the Connecticut staffing and employment experts at Merritt. We have the experience and resources you need to get your career on track.

Keep Your Employees Engaged All Summer!

May 11th, 2012

The summer sun is slanting through the plastic blinds of the office and the grey cubicles are bathed in a happy light. Casual Friday hems are moving north of the knee. Beautiful weekends seem to result in a rash of mysterious sick days on Monday. And on some especially lovely afternoons, the office is a ghost town by 4:59.

What’s going on? Summer in the workplace, that’s what. A beautiful season for life, fun, family, friends and fresh air. But not such a beautiful season for bottom lines.

When the summer starts rolling in and you have a business to run, your valuable human capital starts to seem a little less valuable. Daydreams set in, lunch hours get longer, and vacation schedules don’t always coordinate with company needs. So what can you do to keep your team engaged and focused between now and September? Try these helpful tips.

Keep Employees Focused During the Summer Months

1. Pick your battles. Don’t try to win every single warm weather-related conflict. If you really feel that sandals represent a serious dress code violation and undermine productivity, take action. But be realistic and be willing to let some things slide.  At the same time, when you’ve chosen to crack down on a certain issue, stand firm.

2. Control vacation schedules. Make sure you have a protocol in place for requesting time off and make sure your employees understand and follow it. Don’t let the stress of managing overlapping vacations get the best of you, and don’t let it compromise your commitment to your clients and customers.

3. Anticipate trouble ahead of time. If you know that a popular baseball game will happen next Friday and you suspect that many employees intend to leave early, put a plan in place to make sure the work gets done. Announce your plan to your employees well before the afternoon of the big game.

4. Make use of your mobile resources. The magic of modern technology allows us to stay in touch with employees when they’re on the go. So don’t just ignore that phone or Blackberry. Pick it up and reach out. Everyone in the office—including you—can get more done when communication and file sharing happen from anywhere.

5. Recognize that in the long run, employees who feel respected and trusted will work harder, care more, and demonstrate greater loyalty than those who feel oppressed or treated like children. Rein in the urge to become a dictator, and give your employees enough time to balance work and life. If you do this, they’ll pay you back by being better adjusted, better able to make commitments on their own terms, and more likely to think about work when they aren’t physically in the office.
For more help with staffing, retention and talent management, talk to the experts at Merritt. We can help you keep your company goals on track no matter the season.

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